Council have stated that they wish to continue to demonstrate a high level of public accountability, and continue to provide assurances to the public that the Council will hold itself and the City's administrators accountable for the quality of stewardship over public funds and for achievement of value for money in municipal operations.
Under authority provided to the Council through the Ontario Municipal Act, Section 223.19, Council appointed the City's Auditor General who reports directly to the Council and is responsible for assisting the Council. The Auditor General assists the Council in performing their responsibilities under the Municipal Act.
Although the Auditor General is employed by the City, the Municipal Act requires him to perform his responsibilities in an independent manner. The Auditor General's ability to perform his responsibilities in an independent manner is an essential element of this very important role. The public's trust is based on their belief that the Auditor General has unfettered access to all records and information of the City "that the Auditor General believes necessary to perform his duties", and that in reporting directly to the Council, that a high level of cooperation is provided to the Auditor Generals Office by the City's Administration. Public trust is also based on the belief that reports originating from the Auditor Generals Office are uncensored, and devoid of any interference.
The Auditor General is guided by a citizen focus and a philosophy of adding value to improve the current and future operations of the City. He supports Council and City administration in achieving organizational objectives by providing objective and independent information, advice and assurance with respect to governance, risk management, accountability, and performance. The role of the Auditor General is not only to identify cost savings. When selecting audit projects, the Auditor General attempts to balance audit work that will identify opportunities for cost reductions, loss avoidance, increased revenues, improved revenue collection, enhanced efficiency and effectiveness, and improvements to major control systems.
Although cost savings are often a direct result of the work conducted by the Office, of equal importance is the work conducted to safeguard City resources and ensure proper use of public funds. Recommendations relating to the improvement of internal controls and the quality of stewardship over public funds are an important part of the Auditor General's work but are not easily quantifiable. It is important to appreciate that reports which have no apparent immediate financial benefit nevertheless have significant other long-term benefits to the City.
Final audit reports are available to the public.